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Vibrant Technik

A Melbourne Office Building will Use Solar Façade to Produce Sustainable Energy

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A new office skyscraper in Melbourne built by Australian architecture firm Kennon will employ an integrated solar façade to create electricity for the building’s usage. This project has the potential to be an excellent example of sustainable onsite power generation.

For the first time in Australia, the 8-story, 5000 square metre building in West Melbourne will have 1,182 thin-film solar panels installed on its façade. These panels will produce more energy than the structure requires and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 70 tonnes annually, according to the studio. The creative solar façade firmly places the structure on the path to becoming carbon neutral in a few years.

According to architect Pete Kennon, the solar façade may create more than 50 times as much energy as a typical rooftop solar power system utilised in residential buildings. Solar panels for the 550 Spencer building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system will have the same thickness and appearance as regular glass façade panels, preserving the building’s aesthetic.

Avancis, a German business, will provide Kennon with Skala solar panels, while local glass dealer George Fethers & Co. will handle the installation. Red Fire Engineers sent more than 40 panels to Australia for testing. A copy of the intended façade was constructed using the panels, and its performance and safety were successfully evaluated under actual fire circumstances.

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